When launching a new website, more likely that not, you are going to want to track traffic or conversions of some sort. You’d be surprised how many developers forget this step, and waste / lose months of valuable data. The most widely used tracking software is Google Analytics, with its free version offering almost all you will need to track traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates etc. You can also use Google Search Console to learn about your dites organic performance, and if you’re in the US you might want to also consider Microsoft Bing’s search console.
Something that inevitably crops up with web development is page redirects. If a product is out of stock, or a feature is no longer available you might want to use a redirect to send the users to another, more relevant part of your site. Using a redirect is the correct way to do this, but using the wrong type can cause you problems in the future. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect, and it passes almost all of the SEO value from the old page to the new one. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect so the SEO value of the redirected page is not passed to the new destination. Using the wrong type of redirect can ruin a page’s SEO score.
Site speed is an integral part of a successful website. Not only do search engines favour fast-loading websites, but the user journey and experience can be massively improved leading to more sales or conversions. We have written a blog about how to increase site speed here.
XML sitemaps help search engines understand the structure of your website, so that they can effectively index all of the pages that you want them to. You should create an XML sitemap and submit it to the relevant search engine search control, so that they can reference it when indexing your pages. You can create an XML sitemap for free here. As well as your Sitemap, you should upload a robots.txt file to the top level directory of your website, this will establish what activities crawlers are permitted to perform in relation to each page. You can also specify different types of crawlers, allowing you to establish different protocols for different search engines.
Keywords are a huge factor in building a positive SEO campaign. Extensive keyword research can be make or break in a winning campaign. Including these keywords in your site URL has be known to be a good ranking signal, however creating a long unreadable URL in order to accomodate lots of keywords will have the adverse effect, as shorter URL’s rank higher than long ones. You should also aim to get these keywords into your sites Meta Description and H1 tags. It is generally a good idea to add your keyword to the H1 tag on your page, and to remember to only include on H1 tag which should appear before any other heading tags on the page. Although the content of your meta description is not used by search engines as ranking signal, it is still a good idea to add your keywords in here as it can help with your click through rate.
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